My Charleston Weekend: Feb. 12-18

Elise Testone

Having recently relocated to New York, Elise Testone will return to Charleston for her third annual Valentine’s Day show at the Charleston Music Hall. After finishing sixth during Season 11 of “American Idol,” the smokey-voiced singer made the rounds, appearing on every daytime and evening talk show and touring extensively as part of the “Idol” troupe and then as a solo attraction, opening for national acts and headlining herself. Testone, who is working on new music, will introduce her new sound as well as her new band at the homecoming show. The event also will feature a special 3-D visual performance by Christian Hannon.

When: Saturday, doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m.

Where: Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.

Price: $18.50 in advance, $20 the day of the show

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Reigning Academy of Country Music Male Vocalist of the Year Jason Aldean will bring his Burn It Down Tour 2015 to North Charleston just in time for Valentine’s Day. Recently recognized as the most downloaded male country artist in history with more than 21.5 million in digital sales, Aldean is at the top of his game right now. Having released his sixth album, “Old Boots, New Dirt,” in October, it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country charts and became the only country album released in 2014 to be certified platinum. The lead single from that album, “Burnin’ It Down,” held the No. 1 spot for nine weeks and was the fastest selling single of 2014. Aldean will bring with him special guests Cole Swindell and Tyler Farr.

When: Saturday, doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30 p.m.

Where: North Charleston Coliseum, 5001 Coliseum Drive

Price: $74.55-$691.52

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Harry Connick Jr. is taking time off from coaching other singers to add to his resume. Having recently returned for a second year as a judge on Season 14 of “American Idol,” Connick is making the rounds on a 20-plus city national tour. A multi-talented musician, singer, songwriter and actor, the show will feature music from Connick’s vast catalog, including songs from his most recent releases, “Smokey Mary” and “Every Man Should Know.” To date, Connick has released 29 albums and won three Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards.

When: Wednesday, doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30 p.m.

Where: North Charleston Performing Arts Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive

Price: $65-$125

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With 20 albums and five Grammy nominations under his belt, Gordon Lightfoot is anything but a newcomer to the music scene, and he’s proving just that with his current cross-country tour entitled “50 Years on the Carefree Highway.” The tour will feature his well-known hits as well as some deep cuts, all of which will be woven together with behind-the-scenes stories and personal anecdotes.

When: Monday, doors open at 7 p.m. with the show starting at 8 p.m.

Where: Charleston Music Hall, 37 John St.

Price: $39.50-$75

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Mardi Gras is coming to Charleston! The Charleston Symphony Orchestra is inviting folks out for “a night you’ll never forget.” The toe-tapping tribute will celebrate the jazz history of Charleston and the vibrant and colorful festivities of New Orleans. Charlton Singleton, Quentin Baxter, Chris Bluemel and Mark Sterbank will join the CSO in some classic jazz favorites, including “I Found a New Baby,” “St. James Infirmary,” “When the Saints Go Marching In” and more. The event will feature free drinks from Palmetto Brewing Company and Firefly Distillery; free dance lessons with the Hot Jazz Dance Club at 6:30 p.m.; a costume contest at intermission; and food trucks on-site, including Smoke and Sweet Lulu’s Bakery on Wheels. Attendees are encouraged to wear their favorite mask and to wear their dancing shoes.

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St.

Price: $35

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Get your beads and masks ready, because the “Edge of America” is celebrating Mardi Gras with a week’s worth of festivities. Monday will celebrate LundiGras with an oyster roast and concert at the Island Grill & Bar. Tuesday will feature a Fat Tuesday Block Party complete with an oyster roast and concert at Jack of Cups, Drop In Deli and Planet Follywood. Wednesday and Feb. 19 will see Cochon deLait, a Cajun-style whole hog roast at Rita’s Seaside Grille and Loggerhead’s Beach Grill, respectively. On Feb. 20, the Tides Hotel will be the site of the Masquerade Ball ($25), which will run from 7-11 p.m. and feature a cash bar and light hors d’ouerves. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their best cocktail attire or costumes, and awards will be given for best guy, best gal and best costume. Feb. 21 is the main event, the FollyGras Parade & Street Party. Center Street will be closed to traffic from noon-5 p.m. for the free event. Festivities will include a parade; live music by Gaslight Street, Hollow Point, Hungry Monks, Shakin’ Martinis and Soul Fish; local food vendors; kids’ activities; and more. In true Mardi Gras style, attendees are encouraged to break out their best costumes and bring their beads.

When: Monday-Feb. 21

Where: Various locations around Folly Beach

Price: Prices vary depending on event

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Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creative minds behind “South Park,” teamed up with “Avenue Q” co-creator Robert Lopez to create “The Book of Mormon.” Called “the best musical of this century” by The New York Times, the show continues its six-night stand in North Charleston. The winner of nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, the religious satire follows two young, naive, anxious Mormon missionaries as they navigate their mission to a remote village in northern Uganda, where a warlord is threatening villagers.

It was announced last week that the production will conduct a pre-show lottery at the box office, making a limited number of tickets available at $25. Entries will be accepted at the box office beginning 21/2 hours prior to each performance; each person will print their name and the number of tickets (1 or 2) they wish to purchase on a card that is provided. Two hours before curtain, names will be drawn at random for a limited number of tickets priced at $25 each. Tickets are subject to availability.

When: Through Sunday

Where: North Charleston Performing Arts Center, 5001 Coliseum Drive

Price: $54-$132

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